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Articles by Melissa Sweet

“As a nation, we should be unified in an unwavering commitment to stop Aboriginal deaths in custody”

Many of the celebrations of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta as a symbol of liberty and freedom ring very hollow for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, one recent conference examining the Magna Carta legacy did acknowledge the “justice gap”, describing the increasing incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples [...]

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Calling for an inquiry into food security for remote communities – and other priorities from #ruralhealthconf

In the Croakey Conference Reporting Service’s final report on the recent National Rural Health Conference in Darwin, Jennifer Doggett gives an overview of the priorities for rural health action, including calls for a Senate Inquiry into food security for remote communities. Jennifer Doggett writes: The influence of #ruralhealthconf will continue long after delegates have returned [...]

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Now this DOES call for outrage. (And please support #JustJustice)

“Our young people do not belong in prison.” This statement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda opens a new report, which makes a strong call for action to end the over-representation of Indigenous youth in the criminal justice system. The report should inspire widespread outrage, according to researcher Darren Parker, a [...]

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How the arts contributed “substance and soul” to #ruralhealthconf

Jennifer Doggett reports Shadow Assistant Minister for Health, Stephen Jones, got it right at the closing session of #ruralhealthconf when he described it as having ‘both substance and soul’. From Shellie Morris’s rousing performance at the opening ceremony to the closing dance from the Kailani Dancers, much of the ‘soul’ of the conference was due [...]

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Is it time to rethink the possibilities for rural health?

Jennifer Doggett reports from Darwin:  ‘Possibilities’ was the theme of the final day of #ruralhealthconf, and the ideas put forward by the keynote and concurrent session speakers challenged delegates to broaden their horizons and re-think narrow conceptions of rural health. From the forces of globalisation, to the impact of domestic economic policies, to the need for [...]

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Announcing the program for #IHMayDay15 on Friday – please tune in on Twitter

Below we announce the program for #IHMayDay15 on Friday – a day of action and listening on Twitter on all matters to do with the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It runs from 7am-10pm. Please tune into the hashtag over the next few days and most especially on Friday: Aboriginal and Torres [...]

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On the importance of place (and produce) for rural health

Jennifer Doggett reports from Darwin: A picture of a mouldy lettuce and tired looking carrot selling for $6 in a remote area of Australia was a powerful reminder to delegates at #ruralhealthconf of the challenges involved in rural and remote health. Professor Alan Cass from the Menzies School of Health Research used this example to [...]

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What will it take to improve rural health? Internet, internet, internet…

Jennifer Doggett reports: One of the most important outcomes from the National Rural Health Conference in Darwin will be a set of recommendations for action to improve health services in rural and remote areas and to overcome some of the barriers to good health. These recommendations will be developed via a collaborative and structured process open to [...]

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Profiling success stories and challenges at #ruralhealthconf

Jennifer Doggett reports from the 13th National Rural Health Conference in Darwin Personal story telling, international law, political campaigning and cutting edge research combined to make a powerful case for a person-centred health system on Day 1 of the #ruralhealthconf. However, the need to see people within the context of their connections to families, communities, [...]

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#RuralHealthConf kicks off – with songs, tweets, and a call for “fair care”

The 13th National Rural Health Conference kicked off in Darwin yesterday, and below are some of the introductory reports. Two hashtags are running – follow #ruralhealthconf and #NRHC15. Also follow @WePublicHealth, where rural mental health advocate Alison Fairleigh is guest tweeting, and @JenniferDoggett, who is covering the event for the Croakey Conference Reporting Service. Dr [...]

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